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Our main objective is to ascertain the levels of financial skills that have been acquired at distinct university levels and within distinct areas of knowledge. University students taking education degrees are especially relevant to our study as they will pass on the basic competencies of financial literacy to future generations. With this in mind, we initially attempt to determine levels of acquisition in these skills within primary education. We then focus our study on the university world, for two reasons. First, we consider that this is a valid point of evaluation for knowledge acquired throughout primary and secondary education; second, we were interested in focusing on students of education and on future teachers. So, our work explores the level students have reached on aspects of financial education that are considered priority by the European Commission (2007) and OECD (2003, 2005). A survey in different courses of two Catalan universities (UB and UAB) was used in order to settle the discussion . It was conducted during 2014-15 to Administration and Business (UB) to 63 students, Labour Relations (UB) to 63 students, and Education (UAB) to 51 students (total 177 students). The aim of the survey was to obtain information that could be treated quantitatively and qualitatively on aspects that international agencies pointed as priorities: money and transactions, planning and finance management, risk and reward and financial context. This survey is not representative of the total university degrees in Catalonia, it’s a case of study. The purpose of the case study was to observe the level of adquisition of financial skills in this group of diverse students. It was done with a small sample as it was trying to discover if there was difference between economic and educational degrees. The result obtained from the analysed data allows us to set a recommendation on the aspects to be strengthened during compulsory education, and so, suggest to those responsible for the design of Education grades, the need to incorporate the financial education in their degrees. Our hypothesis is that the most favorable areas are Mathematics and Social Sciences.
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Financial History Workshop
Savings Culture
A Lifetime of
Financial Education
Madrid, 5th October 2017
Financial History Workshop Improving Savings Culture. A Lifetime of Financial Education
FUNCAS Social and Economic Studies, 4
Financial History Workshop is designed to provide a forum for extensive
discussion on new and innovative research on a very important and
current topic for savings and retail banks in Europe and worldwide:
nancial literacy. This book compiles some of the research works that,
due to their informative nature, were exhibited in it.
C/ Caballero de Gracia, 28
Madrid, 28013, Spain
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Electronic version available at: ISBN 978-84-15722-83-0
portada.indd 1 15/03/2018 09:57:59
Financial History Workshop
Savings Culture
A Lifetime of
Financial Education
Madrid, 5th October 2017
FUNCAS Social and Economic Studies, 4
Madrid, Spain
IsIdro FaI casas
José María Méndez Álvar ez-cedrón
Fernando conlledo lantero
carlos egea Krauel
MIguel Ángel escotet Álvarez
aMado Franco lahoz
Manuel Menéndez Menéndez
Pedro antonIo MerIno garcía
antonIo PulIdo gutIérrez
vIctorIo valle sÁnchez
gregorIo vIllalabeItIa galarraga
carlos ocaña Pérez de tudela
Electronic Edition
An electronic edition of this book is available at:
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Caballero de Gracia, 28, 28013 - Madrid (Spain)
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All rights are reserved. The total or partial reproduction of any of its contents in any mechanical or
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ISBN: 978-84-15722-83-0
ISBN: 978-84-15722-84-7
Depósito legal: M-8881-2018
Prints: Cecabank
The transformations that have occurred in recent decades through the
spread of globalisation have reached all spheres of life. Financial services have
become more sophisticated thanks to technological advances, among other
reasons.1 However, the sophistication of financial products has not led to clarity
and transparency. Information does not flow symmetrically among agents, and
these information asymmetries (Akerlof, 1970) spark conflicts among the
different agents participating in the markets, to the detriment of society in
general but especially its most vulnerable members.2 Access to information on
the financial world has an initial entry barrier: it is essential to grasp certain
concepts and understand the differences among financial products in order to
be capable of taking decisions and planning actions throughout one’s lifetime.
Financial inclusion has been posited as one of the challenges of the society of
the future (Lo Prete, 2013; Sherrard, 2010).
The economic and financial world is a space of sociability where human
behaviours are expressed (Shiller, 2012). The financial crisis which got underway
after the fall of Lehman Brothers has sparked many questions: Why do financial
crises happen time and time again? Are banks harmful businesses for society or
are they necessary for the economy to work smoothly? Have the growth rates
from the past 200 years come to an end or are we simply facing a temporary
setback? Can states use regulation to limit the effects of the human behaviours
that fuel financial crises? Behaviours that can hardly be called exemplary were
1 The incorporation of Artificial Intelligence and Automatic Learning into finances force us to reflect, even
more intensely, if possible, on the preparation needed for the near future. The European Parliament has
addressed the issue of robotics in a recent report (see, European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs,
2 The recent study by De Haan and Sturm (2017) shows the relationship between financial development,
financial liberalisation and the recurrence of banking crises, and how these factors affect unequal income
in a country. They also measure whether institutional quality conditioned the impact of liberalisation and
found that it did not.
Panel 1 – Financial Education of Young People
revealed in the world of finances, prompting rejection from a large swath of
the population. Governments, analysts and public and private institutions sent
out messages warning about the need to reflect and act in the face of the
new situations that were emerging. After all, a little over 100 years ago, most
money was coin, and yet today we hardly even use bills anymore, which were
a notable innovation in their day (Blasco-Martel and Sudrià-Triay, 2016). Today
we go around with cards and transactions in our bank accounts, plus new
currencies (crypto-currencies) are emerging. On the other hand, the pensions
which became widespread in the early 20th century (before that, there had
been different forms of cooperatives based on savings and mutual support) are
currently somewhat at risk, since there is a debate as to whether the states will
be able to meet their commitments in the not-too-distant future in view of the
demographic changes. Thus, new questions are being added to the ones that
emerged during the crisis: Will states actually be able to pay future pensions or
are difficulties arising because of the ageing of the population? Has the purpose
of central banks disappeared? What personal responsibility do we have in the
economic future of our societies?
With the goal of responding to this new reality, different international
bodies point to society’s need to become financially literate. The OECD indicates
that competency in financial matters is a basic skill which the citizens of
tomorrow need. The conceptualisation of this terminology suggests multiple
nuances. Financial education, financial literacy, financial knowledge, financial
inclusion… these are just some of the terms which are used. Some researchers
distinguish between financial education and financial literacy (Hung, Parker and
Yoong, 2009). While financial literacy is defined as a skill which is acquired,
financial education is defined as a process that improves society’s understanding
of financial products.3 The purpose is for investors and consumers to be capable of
taking decisions and responsibly evaluating the risks they could be facing, which
allows them to improve their welfare.
Even though there are critical positions on financial education (Willis, 2011
and O’Connell, 2007), the world in which we live seems to indicate that broad
training in aspects related to finance is needed, and will increasingly be needed,
in order to improve citizens’ quality of life, since it will have repercussions on
social welfare. In this sense, the importance of public institutions’ taking on the
responsibility of financially training the population is ineluctable. This is how
we should interpret the recommendations of the European Commission (COM
3 This is the definition provided by the OECD ( 2005). The Financial Literacy Expert Group of PISA 2012 (INEE,
2013) stated that: “financial competency refers to knowledge and understanding of financial concepts and
risks, and the skills, motivation and confidence to apply this knowledge and understanding to take effective
decisions in different financial concepts, to improve individuals’ and society’s financial wellbeing, and to
allow one to participate in economic life”, (p. 12). See Bay, Catasús and Johed (2014) on the role that
financial education can play in the development of the concept of financialisation.
Financial Education at School: Challenge and Opportunity
2007-808) when it asks governments to take responsibility for this issue. Based
on these recommendations, lifelong training is suggested.
The concern over the development of financial knowledge is also expressed
in the PISA 2012 Report, which contained a specific section on this topic (OECD,
2013a: 147–175). In this case, its goal was to determine to what extent 15-year-
olds are capable of applying their knowledge of this subject in practice. To
ascertain this, the questions it included, all of which were applied, referred to the
4 major areas that have been defined as core in the different financial education
1. Money and transactions, which encompasses aspects of personal
economy and the distinction between money and credit, savings and investment,
as well as basic knowledge of instruments like credit cards, etc.
2. Planning and management, the area which works with the short and
long term and stimulates habits related to the ability to make and manage
3. Risk and diversification, which introduces the concept of risk and
develops the ability to manage it.
4. Financial projections which includes basic knowledge of the financial
world (contracts, interest rates, inflation, etc.).
Spain bore in mind the European recommendations via the Financial
Education Plans4 developed by the Banco de España and the National
Stock Market Commission (abbreviated CNMV). In turn, in 2014 the decree
implementing the Organic Law on Improving Educational Quality (abbreviated
LOMCE), which established the basic primary school curriculum (Royal Decree
126/2014 dated 28 February 2014), stipulated that financial education be
included in the primary school curriculum in the social sciences area. This was a
4 The Financial Education Plan in Spain was launched jointly in 2008 by Banco de España (BE) and the
National Stock Market Commission (abbreviated CNMV). The overarching objective of the 2008-2012
Financial Education Plan was to “improve the financial culture of the populace so that citizens are prepared
to deal with the new financial context with sufficient confidence” (CNMV and BE, 2008: 19). On the 4th of
June 2013, the BE and the CNMV renewed the Financial Education Plan for 2013-2017. The new Plan
recognises that during the period 2008-2012, contact had intensified with public and private bodies which
were designing materials and implementing experiments in financial education. It also acknowledges that
this widespread availability of “materials, tools and projects may not be very effective if they are not properly
disseminated” (CNMV and BE, 2008: 20). To do so, they suggest carrying out a process of identifying
projects in order to work together, avoid duplication and exchange experiences, as well as to develop a
code of conduct. Today the 2013-2017 plan is about to conclude and some evaluations of the project have
already been conducted (Hospido, Villanueva and Zamarro, 2015).
Panel 1 – Financial Education of Young People
new development since the process of including financial education in primary
school was fairly well developed in some countries and different studies had
been conducted,5 but in Spain the process had only been launched in secondary
school. However, the law was approved without bearing in mind the need to
train the trainers, that is, current and future primary school teachers.6 This
neglect will unquestionably generate difficulties in the immediate future. On
the other hand, in the report that contains the competency levels of adults
(OECD, 2013b: 29, 75), the OECD stated that Spain ranks among the lowest
in reading comprehension and mathematical concepts. In terms of competencies,
reading comprehension, numeracy and citizen competency are basic to the
development of financial education.7
In PISA 2015, financial competency was assessed for the second time with
the participation of 15 countries (OECD, 2017), including 10 countries belonging
to the OECD (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Slovakia, Spain, the United
States, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland) and 5 countries that do not belong
to it (Brazil, China, the Russian Federation, Lithuania and Peru). Spain’s score
(469) was significantly under the mean of all the participating countries (481)
and was ranked tenth (MECD, 2017). Twenty-five percent of Spanish students
did not pass the tests. They understand the purpose of an invoice, for example,
but they do not know how to take decisions on how to allocate or manage daily
spending in a rational way. In this case, just as in 2012, the results are closely
related to those obtained on the mathematical and reading competency, where
Spanish students earn scores somewhat lower than in financial education.
It is difficult to introduce financial education into curricula without
improving the competencies involved. The first steps to bear in mind when
developing contents that can be included in primary school financial education
curricula should be first, the need to train future teachers via a joint effort
with the Faculties of Education Sciences, and secondly, the need to ascertain
the shortcomings (in terms of financial education) that students show when
5 See for Scotland: Granville and Primrose (2009). For the United Kingdom: Parliamentary (2011). Australia:
Australian Government (2014). In the report by the Spanish Ministry of Education on financial competency
in Spain in the PISA 2015 tests, some countries (Slovakia, China and Brazil, among others) are rushing to
include financial education contents in primary school curricula (MECD, 2017: 14-15).
6 One study that addresses the need to train teachers in financial education is Eades et al., 2013.
7 Mathematical skills are essential to sound financial education, as directly stated by some authors: “... we
consider financial literacy as a particular form of human capital accumulation and recognize the potential
role of mathematical ability early in life in determining future trajectories of financial literacy. We posit that
the initial stock of financial literacy is strongly related to mathematical skills acquired at the onset of the life-
cycle” (Jappelli and Padula, 2013: 2790). In this sense, we should question whether future teachers should
not take mathematics during their baccalaureate. Regarding citizen competency, the PISA tests showed that
students have a very low ability to relate financial concepts to aspects of their everyday lives, which may be
a consequence of the values inherent in a kind of economic education in compulsory education which is
largely divorced from citizens’ reality (Pagès, 2005; Santisteban, 2008).
Financial Education at School: Challenge and Opportunity
they begin adulthood, and to also engage in dialogue with teachers to design
possible strategies to solve them.
The first objective of this study is to undertake an initial examination
of financial knowledge and ideas on financial education through a survey
conducted with university students. First, the main research approaches on
aspects addressed in economic and financial education are established. Then
the data and methodology are presented, and finally, we share the preliminary
results of our study. This paper closes with a brief section on conclusions, in
which we reflect on the financial education information that should be included
in the primary school curriculum.
To identify the different research approaches on education and financial
literacy topics, we can follow the classification posited in the study by
Schuchardt et al. (2009), which distinguishes four main areas. The first one
applies behaviour theory. From this perspective, economic and psychological
factors that affect consumers’ behaviour in financial matters and how scientific
theories of behaviour motivate changes are analysed. There is a noteworthy
study by Hilgert and Hogarth (2003) which explores the connection between
knowledge and behaviour in four specific situations: a) cash-flow management,
b) requests for credit, c) the option of saving and d) the option of making
an investment. When discussing financial knowledge, this study stresses the
importance of distinguishing between financial information and financial
education. Financial education is a broader concept defined as the combination
of having information, acquiring skills and being particularly motivated to make
desired changes in attitude/behaviour.
The second area addresses the consumer’s economic socialisation. This
encompasses how individuals improve their economic status as they gain
knowledge on consumer topics and financial skills. In this sense, it is essential to
fully grasp the role played by each of the main agents in economic socialisation,
including the family, who are the first to influence children, according to Rettig
(1985), as well as school friends, the school and the media as well.8
The third area is financial education, which evaluates the programmes
offered. The majority of studies are based on assessing the impact of the financial
education taught in programmes targeted at specific groups, such as youths,
and some of the most representative studies are McCormick (2009), Lusardi,
8 In this regard, see chapters 14 and 15 of the Handbook of Financial Literacy (Aprea et al., 2016).
Panel 1 – Financial Education of Young People
Mitchell and Curto (2010) and Bassa Scheresberg (2013). It also examines
employees and pensioners (Lusardi and Mitchell, 2011a).9 Finally, there is an
area which evaluates financial risks. This area of research advocates bearing
in mind the level of risk tolerance or aversion when individual decisions are
taken. Cordell (2002) and Hanna, Waller and Finke (2008) stress evaluating risk
tolerance from a vantage point that improves the quality of the planning and
satisfaction of the person taking the decisions.
In Spain, the studies that exist to date can be grouped into two main
research approaches. The first is those that examine economic knowledge as
a dimension of citizen education or include reflections on the educational
framework. Generally speaking, these studies are by experts in social science
education, in which financial education is part of economic education and
economic education is part of education for citizenship (Pagès, 2005; Pagès
and González Monfort, 2010; Santisteban, 2008 and 2013). Likewise, general
reflections on economic and social aspects and their repercussions on education
can be found in studies such as Burbules and Torres (2001). In this sense, Pagès
(2005: 2) claims that: “the purpose of compulsory education should not consist
in teaching economics or teaching history per se but helping students become
aware, responsible citizens by providing them with ideological, theoretical and
methodological instruments created by the social disciplines which will allow
them to better understand society and its problems and to be part of the
solution”. Likewise, Santisteban (2008) focuses on the fact that not only should
there be knowledge of certain specific economic concepts, but that it should come
with a critical analysis of the causes and consequences in daily practice in order
to foster the ability to evaluate any information before accepting it.
From another perspective, the focus is on quantitative analyses based
on the results of PISA 2012 and 2015, as well as one some of the training
programmes by the BE and CNMV delivered in schools. A good compilation of
them can be found in the Revista de Educación and the INEE.10 Based on the
PISA tests, a series of contributions were added that analyse different aspects,
including: how the determinants of students’ academic performance on financial
matters are associated with their cultural and social capital; the connection
between performance on the mathematical and reading competencies and
financial knowledge; the robustness of the correlation between different
sociodemographic factors and the results of a test on financial knowledge,
9 The number of studies that evaluate financial education has gone up dramatically; they include Hung,
Parker and Yoong (2009), Kindle (2010) and Atkinson and Messy (2012). Huston (2010) includes a
literature review from the USA.
10 Here are the studies analysing the PISA data related to financial education:
Financial Education at School: Challenge and Opportunity
including whether the kind of school (public versus government-subsidised)
influences financial competencies through its effects on mathematical
knowledge. The statistical or econometric component plays a crucial role in all
of these studies, and most of the researchers come from the field of Economics.
Thus, the impression gotten from the analyses performed to date is that
there is a lack of dialogue between economics experts and education experts.
On the one hand, there is a series of reflections on how the economic world
affects or should affect education, how it should be taught, etc., while on
the other, there is a battery of econometric studies whose purpose is to cross
data. However, no clear questions emerge on the educational implementation
of economic and financial concepts. Nonetheless, they are all keenly interested
in spotlighting the gap, and efforts in this vein must increase, perhaps with
greater connectedness. To this end, it may be worthwhile to reflect on the
connection between the two research paradigms (Yilmaz, 2013).
Given this state of affairs, our study is based on a realisation and a set
of hypotheses. The realisation is that there are no benchmark studies in Spain
whose purpose is to ascertain the initial level of primary school teachers and
the population in general, thus ignoring one of the principles underpinning the
EU report recommending the implementation of high-quality national financial
education plans (COM 2007-808). Principle number 2 indicates that financial
education programmes should be meticulously geared to meet citizens’ specific
needs. In order to achieve this objective, previous studies must be performed to
ascertain citizens’ level of financial awareness in order to detect what particular
problems must be addressed. Based on this finding, we posit the following
The influx of contents related to financial education in the primary school
curriculum is sparking reluctance and mistrust among teachers, who believe
that this is a neoliberal proposal on the contents of economic education.
Financial education contents have been introduced into the primary and
secondary school curricula without sufficient consensus, discussion and analysis
by the different educational and economic stakeholders.
Future teachers (both primary and secondary) have received no training
related to financial education. Their knowledge is based on their personal
experiences and is the product of their own social representations, which
have seldom been checked against reliable information and contents.
There are no teaching proposals to implement contents on financial
education in the primary school classroom. There are institutional initiatives,
Panel 1 – Financial Education of Young People
both private and public,11 and individual initiatives by teachers who share
their experiences and innovations,12 but they are not the product of
educational research.
There are teaching proposals to deal with financial education in secondary
school (such as the ones developed by the Ministry of Economy and
Competitiveness, the Banco de España, the National Stock Market
Commission, the IEF and BBVA), but they are not the product of
interdisciplinary work and dialogue between economics and education.
All of these working hypotheses incorporate the work that has been done
in the past decade, while also revealing a lack of dialogue between the world of
economics and the world of education, the latter being, after all, the discipline
that has to add the contents to the curricula. One first step is to determine the
most important gaps in financial education in primary and secondary teacher
training. Therefore, in this study we are working with the following hypothesis:
The majority of university students have heard about many concepts
related to financial education (savings, planning, money, investment, etc.)
but are hard-pressed to define or explain them or to cite examples of them.
Their knowledge of the conceptual framework is very vague, diffuse and
even contradictory. The students have acquired the foundation of their
economic-financial education at school (mainly secondary) and in the
The fact that the Ministry of Education has added aspects of financial
education to the primary school curriculum is clearly a step forward that offers
both opportunities and challenges. In line with the questions outlined in Cabrera
and Arenillas (2013), we should question whether the incorporation of financial
education into the social sciences area of the primary school curriculum requires
a series of continuities to be implemented. Thus, analysing the measures
adopted, if any, planning studies that enable us to identify the level that should
be implemented, offering working teachers appropriate training and fostering
the inclusion of elements from economic and financial education into Bachelor’s
degree curricula are just some of the aspects on which there is no information,
and they are thus the target of our study.
11 For example, see the BBVA website: y la web del Banco de España: http://
12 In this regard, see:
Financial Education at School: Challenge and Opportunity
Our research group13 includes professors from the Faculty Education
Sciences at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the Faculty
of Economics and Business at the Universidad de Barcelona (UB). In 2015, it
designed a survey targeted at Catalan university students. The research has
two objectives. The first is to ascertain the level of financial competencies
the students had acquired in the different areas of knowledge established by
OECD experts (money and transactions, planning and management, risk and
diversification, financial projections). Three additional questions introduced in
international surveys by Lusardi and Mitchell (2011b) were added to the specific
questions. Several aspects related to finances and ethics were also introduced
(Santisteban et al., 2015). The second objective is to ascertain whether the
students are aware of the purposes of financial education and the learning
process it entails, and simultaneously whether they are capable of interpreting
their own training process in this field.
The sample included 177 students.14 The goal of focusing on university
students reflects the desire to inquire into the foundation of financial education
that the population has during their higher education. We are aware that this
excludes the population that never reaches the university; however, the university
population can provide us with a picture of what was learned about finances
throughout compulsory education and baccalaureate. Identifying where the
main shortcomings are should help us improve the incorporation of contents in
primary education while also striving to grasp the requirements that university
programmes targeted at future educators should fulfil. This is why we focused
on university students, with the goal of testing the survey in order to ultimately
extend it to a broader sample.
Our research revolves around a case study. Catalonia has seven in face-to-
face and distance formats, public universities which accounted for 73.6% of
all university students in academic year 2015-2016. There are also four private
universities (which account for 10.6%) and one distance university which
accounts for 15.8% of university students. The universities in Barcelona are the
majority, accounting for 82% of all students working towards their Bachelor’s
degrees at Catalan public universities. The survey was conducted in the Bachelor’s
in Primary Education (abbreviated EDU) at the Universidad Autónoma de
Barcelona (UAB) and the Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA) and the
13 GIEF:
14 The survey was also administered to a Master’s course in teacher training in the social sciences in secondary
school, the results of which were not included in this article.
Panel 1 – Financial Education of Young People
Bachelor’s in Labour Relations (BLR) at the Universidad de Barcelona (UB). These
universities together account for more than 50% of the students in the Catalan
public university system, as shown in Table 1.
The degree programmes where the samples that allowed us to construct the
case study were taken were chosen with the goal of representing students that
had received some kind of economic training in secondary school (usually BBA
and BLR), as well as representing students in Education. We decided to take the
first-year students from BBA and BLR at the UB in order to test their knowledge
when they enter the university. In the case of Primary Education students, we
chose instead to study the latter years in the degree programme given that they
provided us with a more mature view that would include knowledge that the
students had gotten at the university. Both of these decisions fit the purpose
of our study. In academic year 2014-2015, the BBA (Faculty of Economics and
Business) had a total of 4,778 students, so our analysis represented 1.3% of
the total (although if we estimate this figure over the total number of students
in their first year, it is almost 5%). In the case of the Bachelor’s in Labour
Relations (within the Faculty of Law), 63 students responded, meaning that the
sample accounted for 5% of the total (in relation to all the first-year students,
it accounted for 17%). The Bachelor’s in Primary Education at the UAB had a
total of 1,159 students in all four years in academic year 2014-2015, which
means that our sample accounted for 4.4% of the total, although if we only
count students in the 3rd and 4th year, which we analysed, our sample accounts
for 8.5% of the total (603).
These figures hinder us from generalising the conclusions, but they do
allow us to reach our objective: to get information in order to conduct a study
on a representative sample.
Correctly answered Total number of students
at public universities in Catalonia % UB % UAB
2011-12 103,160 32 21
2012-13 127,690 32 22
2013-14 141,550 31 22
2014-15 147,344 31 22
2015-16 148,823 30 22
Source: IDESCAT (the figures from the year of the study are shaded grey).
Financial Education at School: Challenge and Opportunity
The questionnaire contained questions related to the four aspects noted
by the OECD experts mentioned above. Likewise, it was divided into two parts:
one focused on economic questions and the other on educational questions.
It worked with both open-ended and closed-ended questions. The closed-
ended questions in the first part included the “big three” from the Health and
Retirement Study (HRS) (2004), with a few modifications. The open-ended
questions asked respondents to solve a financial or educational problem.
The first part of the questionnaire sought to get information on the
students’ knowledge of financial concepts like credit, investment, mortgage
and inflation, as well as concepts like consumption and inequality. They were
asked to describe how the price of things is determined and what kind of profits
they would earn from certain investments, in this case based on an activity in
which they had to choose between three possible responses about that profit.
The second part of the questionnaire on financial education in compulsory
education asked them to assess the objectives of financial education based on
10 possible options, some of them more conceptual (knowing what money,
credit cards, cheques, bank accounts, etc. are, and knowing the implications of
using each of them), others about their knowledge of the procedures needed to
take economic decisions (being capable of planning one’s own economy in the
long term in order to have enough money when needed) and other more cross-
cutting questions on democratic citizenship education (being a responsible
consumer who bears their own needs and the socio-environmental impact of
their decisions in mind). In all of these questions, our goal was to address issues
related to family finances, consumption, planning, autonomy to make financial
decisions, the capacity to evaluate risks, the capacity for entrepreneurship and
social factors.
Another set of questions revolved around what they had learned in
primary school, their opinion on the recent inclusion of these contents in the
Degree Total survey
Primary Education-3rd year 32
BBA 1 63
Primary Education-4th year 19
BLR 1 63
Total 177
Panel 1 – Financial Education of Young People
latest education law (LOMCE15) and what prominent financial news story they
recalled from the past three months. Regarding the financial news, the most
symptomatic results is that 40% could not identify any story, 15% cited cases of
corruption and the rest mentioned different news stories related to the situation
of Greece, the drop in oil prices and issues related to the platforms to defend
people evicted because of their inability to pay their mortgages. The information
that this question provides us should be situated within the context in which the
survey was administered; a that time, public opinion was shaken up by cases
of corruption associated with the improper use of “black cards” by some bank
1. The Results
In the first part of the questionnaire, the purpose of the terminological
definitions was to identify the aspects in which the university students concurred
the most, as well as those that they were unsure of. This was planned as an
open-ended question, and we sought to evaluate the responses using previously
established criteria. The results related to the definitions are reflected in Table 3.
Even though criteria were developed to correct the definitions, ultimately
we chose to consider some definitions that were incomplete, not very rigorous
15 Organic Law to Improve Educational Quality.
Term Definition accepted as correct Correct
Money Purposes of money (correct responses observed: means
of payment and counting unit. Not store of value. 125 71%
Credit Asking the bank for money (only 3 mentioned trust) 66 37%
Saving Setting aside for the future (few distinguished the difference
betwen income and expenses)123 69%
Investment Profit in the future (confusion with saving). The concept
of risk appeared infrequently (3) 112 63%
Consumption Shopping and spending money (confusion with the use
of goods and services) 146 82%
Interest rate They seldom equate interest with the “price of money”
(just 10) although a few more got the idea (60) 70 40%
Inflation Price increases (some identify causes) 118 67%
Financial Education at School: Challenge and Opportunity
or immature as valid. However, the general nature of the responses led us to
consider minimum thresholds and evaluate which aspects were forgotten or
not recognised in order to identify them and be able to examine them in future
Regarding money, the purpose of the question was to observe whether they
identified the purposes that money serves. A second objective was to explore
their knowledge of banks’ role in creating money and the role of central banks.
However, these elements did not appear, and the purpose that was identified
the most was as a means of payment. Money was hardly ever identified as a
store of value. Any definition that contained any of the purposes of money
was considered valid. We should note in this section that a study conducted
at the UB on financial knowledge among primary school students in Barcelona
(Oliván López, 2015)16 revealed that more than 20% of the students identified
people as money. Specifically, 22% of the students believed that it was correct
to answer that Justin Bieber and Cristiano Ronaldo represent money.
Regarding credit, our goal was to get them to mention the difference
between loan and credit. However, most of them were unable to distinguish
the two. The most common definition which we considered valid was asking the
bank for money. The term trust seldom appeared (just 3 students).
Saving was one of the concepts that the students understood the best;
they equated it with “setting aside money” for the future. Few stated that
saving is the difference between income and spending, but they did mention
the concept of the future.
With the question on investment we wanted the students to state that the
purpose of investing is to get future profits and that this entails a risk. However,
the concept of risk rarely appeared in the responses.
Consumption was another concept that the respondents defined clearly
as a kind of spending. Some students confused it with the use of goods and
The interest rate was rarely associated with the price of money in the surveys
(only 10 respondents). In the case of APR, a few students identified the acronym,
but not many were able to define it correctly.
16 The complete study may be viewed here:
Oliv%C3%A1n-Toni-juliol15.pdf and a summary here:
Panel 1 – Financial Education of Young People
Inflation was recognised as an increase in the prices of goods and services.
Some students identified over issuing currency or the depreciation of the
currency as the causes of inflation.
The concept of mortgage and inequality, as well as answers to the question
on how the prices of things are set, have not yet been analysed. In the concept of
mortgage, we were looking for the idea of securing financing and debt. In the
inequality question, we were looking for the idea of the concentration of wealth.
And in the price-setting question, we were interested in knowing whether the
students would mention supply and demand and whether at any point they
would mention situations involving the increase in the money supply and its
effect on prices.
The following questions included the three questions that Lusardi and
Mitchell asked when administering surveys to broad swaths of the population
(Lusardi and Mitchell, 2011b).
Question 3.- Imagine that you deposit 100 euros in a savings account and
the annual interest rate is 2%. Within 5 years, how much money would you
have in your account?
The results are shown on the graph; however, there were differences by
degree programme. The number of correct answers in the different programmes
was as follows: BBA: 89%, BLR: 75%, EDU (mean of both years): 82%.
More than 102
Exactly 102
Less than 102
Financial Education at School: Challenge and Opportunity
The figures force us to consider that the students begin their programmes
with quite different training. The 14% gap between students in BBA and BLR
shows this. However, it is not conclusive and the sample should be broadened
before drawing definitive conclusions.
Question 4.- Imagine that the annual interest rate in your savings account
is 1% and that inflation is 2% per year. Within one year, what could you buy
with the money in your account?
With regard to the concept of inflation, the EDU students earned worse
results than the other students. Seventy-two percent of EDU majors responded
correctly, 80% of Labour Relation students and 86% of BBA students. This 14%
difference between BBA and EDU is noteworthy because the EDU students
are in their third and fourth years. We should ascertain whether the different
baccalaureate tracks affect this kind of result.
More than what you
could buy today
Exactly the same as
you could buy today
Less than what you
could buy today
Question 5.- Imagine you buy one share in a company and one Treasury
Bond, which you keep until it comes due. What do you think the profitability of
your share would be compared to your Treasury Bond?
In the risk section, we wanted to include a fourth choice (it depends),
even though we think the LESS CERTAIN choice is the best one. If we break
it down by degree programmes, 32% of BBA, 39% of BLR and 45% of EDU
Panel 1 – Financial Education of Young People
students responded “it depends”. The idea of introducing this fourth option
stems from being able to perform other subsequent analyses; for the time
being, we are only interested in highlighting the fact that the respondents that
answered “it depends” the most were from the EDU degree. This could mean
one of two things: a) they have a lower level of economic education and the
“it depends” option is ambiguous; or b) they are more mature (they were in
their 3rd and 4th year) than the BBA and BLR students and thought about the
problems associated with government indebtedness, the risks of which were
being discussed the news around the time the survey was administered. Future
surveys should strive to clarify this question.
A total of 56% of students responded correctly to all three questions.
According to the study by Mitchell and Lusardi (2015, p. Fig. 1), the average
number of university students who answered all three questions correctly situate
Spaniards below the Germans or Swiss, but not too far from the Dutch or US
Another of our interests was to identify what the population understands
by finances and financial education. In relation to the concept of finances,
three definitions were included. They were first Schiller’s (Shiller, 2012: 28–29):
“a science which allows certain goods or resources to be administered and
the economic agreements needed to achieve a set of socially defined goals
to be achieved”; secondly, the one from the field of economics: “the part of
More cer tain
Less certain
It depends
No answer
Financial Education at School: Challenge and Opportunity
economics which revolves around decisions in companies and individuals, as well
as the State, on investing and obtaining financial resources, that is, financing.
Therefore, it refers to the administration of financial resources, including
securing and managing them”; and finally, we added the definition from the
Dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy, “Pertaining or relative to the public
Term Definition accepted as correct
The process by which individuals gain a better understanding
of financial concepts and products and develop the skills they
need to take informed decisions, evaluate financial risks and
opportunities, and improve their welfare.
Literacy B
The capacity to use financial knowledge and skills
to effectively manage the economic resources available
to achieve welfare in life.
Financial knowledge C
A specific form of knowledge, as well as the capacity to use
it in practice. Sometimes it is assessed by the individual’s
perception of their own knowledge.
Don’t know / No answer DNo answer.
Panel 1 – Financial Education of Young People
1To know what money, credit cards, cheques, bank accounts, etc. are, and to be aware
of the implications of using them.
2To be capable of planning one’s own economy in the long term in order to have resources,
if needed.
3 To know and exercise our economic rights.
4To be a responsible consumer who bears in mind their own needs and the socio-
environmental impact of their decisions.
5 To have autonomy to take decisions on the family budget.
6To know at all times whether it is better to save or invest with the goal of becoming
economically autonomous.
7To know how banks or other financial entities work and to be aware of the implications
of working with them.
8To know the banking mechanisms of credits in order to take on the risks if one has
to become indebted.
9 To know how salaries lose or gain purchasing power.
10 To have the initiative to make investments and be entrepreneurial.
treasury, to bank and stock market matters or to large trading companies”.17
Most students chose the definition from the field of economics.
In the second part of the questionnaire, the students were asked about
their concept of financial education.
To do so, we distinguished three definitions to offer in the survey: the one
provided by the OECD, the definition of financial literacy and the definition of
financial knowledge (question 7).
Most of the students preferred the OECD’s definition. With regard to
this definition, it is interesting to note that financial education is defined as
a process associated with decision-making and people’s welfare. We should
further note that the options were presented without assigning them any
authorship, current of thinking, or previous definition.
Likewise, the students were asked to sequence the objectives of financial
education from most to least important. The sequence they came up with (see
17 The DRAE defines as financial: Perteneciente o relativo a la Hacienda pública, a las cuestiones bancarias y
bursátiles o a los grandes negocios mercantiles.
Financial Education at School: Challenge and Opportunity
Table 5) indicates that there is some agreement with the provisions issued by
the national and international bodies and that its main objectives should be to
become familiar with monetary instruments, to be capable of planning, and
to be autonomous and responsible economic agents. It is interesting to see
the importance attached to knowledge and capacity so that stakeholders can
exercise their economic rights.
We then asked where they had gotten their knowledge of finances. We
wanted to know whether they had received any information related to the
world of finances in primary school (question 9).
This was asked as an open-ended question with the goal of gathering
information that would later enable us to fine-tune the question. Forty-four
percent of the sample indicated that they had learned “something” in primary
education. This “something” mainly encompassed aspects related to money,
consumption and banking, and the respondents included mathematical
knowledge within the concept of financial education. Forty-three percent
claimed that they had never learned anything, while 6% said that did not
remember learning anything. The remaining 7% did not answer the question.
No differences were found among the different programmes or academic years.
In a more specific question, they were asked where they had gotten their
knowledge of finances (question 10). The results show that 56% of them
Don’t remember
Panel 1 – Financial Education of Young People
had gotten it during secondary school, specifically in baccalaureate. Most of
those who stated that they had gotten their knowledge in baccalaureate were
students in the BBA and BLR programmes who either came from a higher-level
vocational programme or had studied economics in their baccalaureate. Most
of the EDU students (over 50%) indicated that their knowledge came from
their own sources (friends, family, the media and work were the most common
answers). Twenty-eight percent stated that they learned it “on their own”
from conversations with friends, the media, their own daily lives, work or
studies. Conversations with family and lived experiences were mentioned by
11%, and only 3% stated that they learned it in primary school, which is logical
given that it was not part of the school curriculum. Finally, 2% did not answer
the question.
They were also asked their opinion on including financial education
contents in the primary school curriculum (question 11). Eighty-two percent
agreed with this and believed that including it would be very positive, since
they think that by doing so students could learn basic contents on economics
and finances; become aware of essential aspects like consumption, money and
saving; understand the world in which we live; or simply begin to familiarise
themselves with concepts that will be a part of their everyday lives. Fourteen
percent do not agree with this proposal since they believe that primary school
students are too young to understand financial concepts, and they suggest
saving these contents for secondary school. It is worth noting that most of the
Primary school
Secondary school
No answer/
Don’t know
Financial Education at School: Challenge and Opportunity
students with this opinion (80%) are in the BBA and BLR degree programmes.
Only 4% had no opinion or did not answer the question.
The following conclusions contain the most important findings of the case
study we have presented. On the one hand, in the surveys administered, money
was identified as a means of payment and/or a counting unit, but not as a store
of value. The implications of this when working on saving should be analysed.
Likewise, interest rate was not identified as the price of money, which compels
us to wonder how the respondents understand debt, a concept that was not
included in the survey administered (except in one of the objectives of financial
education which was not very highly rated by the students; see Table 4); perhaps
it should be included in future studies. Furthermore, the concept of spending
does not seem very clear. Investment tends to be understood as saving. Even
though the respondents seem to clearly understand that investment brings
profit, it does not seem so clear that it also entails risk. In credit, the relationship
between the debtor and creditor does not seem to be marked by trust. The
concept of trust in the financial world is not found in the students’ responses.
Perhaps some mechanism can be established to monitor this concept in future
Disagr ee
No opinion
Panel 1 – Financial Education of Young People
Students seemed aware of the importance of financial education in their
training for life. They appreciated the importance of knowing their economic
rights or of being responsible consumers and supporting sustainability. A
significant number of students acknowledge that their previous knowledge
comes from informal sources (family, the media, friends or world) and that they
did not have adequate financial education in primary school. Regarding the
inclusion of financial contents in primary school, the EDU students are more in
favour of it, although they associate it with social justice values. In contrast, the
BBA and BLR students believe that primary school students are too young for
this kind of content.
The majority of countries accept that a suitable democratic education for
citizenship should be based on three major interrelated areas: political education,
legal education and economic and financial education. Without one of these
areas, compulsory education would not be training autonomous, responsible
citizens. It seems clear that financial education should start in primary school,
although we should use clear arguments to support why we want to teach
certain economic contents, what form they should take and how they should
be taught.
These conclusions should allow for broader research with the goal of
establishing how to articulate the financial education contents that LOMCE
states should be developed in the primary school curriculum. And perhaps even
more importantly, they should also posit the need to include aspects related to
financial education in the contents of university Education programmes. This
factor is what will enable future teachers to acquire the competencies they need
to offer students the training in economic-financial matters that prepares them to
be responsible and autonomous in their financial decisions throughout their
entire lifetime.
Over the course of these years, our group has worked to generate a
space of research and reflection on trainer training: the teachers, advisors
and educators who will be responsible for conveying financial contents and
competencies. To achieve this, cooperation between the world of education
and sectors of the economy devoted to finances is essential in order to address
the topic from an interdisciplinary perspective. One of the opportunities offered
by this essential cooperation is the possibility of implementing these contents
with high expectations of quality. On the other hand, the content roadmap
chosen throughout the different years of education should be coherent from
the economic standpoint, while also accompanied by solid training in ethical
and social values aimed at preserving the “common good”.
Cooperation can facilitate the training of education experts in economic
contents. Cooperation among professionals in different fields can enable
Financial Education at School: Challenge and Opportunity
this cooperation to extend to institutions and public administrations. The
transversality of knowledge and human teams enriches any project. All of these
aspects highlight the need to for experts in the different areas of economics,
finances and education to work together continuously in order to introduce
contents that foster the acquisition of the financial competencies that will be
needed in the future.
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About the autors
Yolanda Blasco-Martel
Associate Professor in Economic History at University of Barcelona (UB).
Her research focuses on banking and financial history. She has published in
refereed books and journals such as Oxford University Press, Business History,
as well as in various Spanish academic journals (Historia Social, Revista de
Historia Industrial, Investigaciones en Historia Económica). The last book: El
Banco de Barcelona 1874-1920. Decadencia y quiebra, with Carles Sudrià
(2016), was awarded the Prize Vicens Vives 2017 of Asociación Española de
Historia Económica.
Manuela Bosch-Príncep
Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona (UB). She works at the
Mathematics for Economics, Finance and Actuarial Sciences Department. She
teaches Financial Mathematics and Social Protection courses. Her research
field is focused on public and private pensions. She has published in refereed
journals and also writes personal finance divulgation pieces.
Neus González-Monfort
Interim Tenured-assistant-professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
(UAB). She works at the Social Sciences Education Department, in the Faculty of
Education. She teaches Social Studies courses in Degree of Primary Education
and in Official Master of Teaching in Secondary Schools. Her research field is
focused on History Education, Heritage Education and Controversial Issues.
She has published in various academic journals and books.
Joshua Jorg Guyer
Postdoctoral researcher at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and also
holds a research fellowship at the Center for Insurance Research at IE Business
School (Madrid, Spain). Dr. Guyer was awarded a Ph.D in social psychology
from Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada), for which he received the
Canadian Psychological Association Certificate of Academic Excellence for
best dissertation. Dr. Guyer has been an invited guest lecturer at a number
of prestigious international universities, and previously taught at the Royal
Military College of Canada (Kingston, Canada).
His primary areas of interest investigate the psychological mechanisms by
which different qualities of voice that reflect speaker confidence (e.g., rate of
About the autors
speech, intonation, pitch) as well as different emotional qualities of voice (e.g.,
fear, excitement, boredom, contentment) influence the success of a persuasive
appeal. His research has been published in internationally recognized journals,
including the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Personality and Social
Psychology Bulletin, and the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.
Sandra MAß
Professor for transnational history of the 19th Century at the Ruhr-University of
Bochum. She received her PhD at the European University Institute in Florence
and finished her Habilitation (second book) at the University of Bielefeld.
From 2015 to 2017 she was deputy director of the Georg-Eckert-Institute for
International Textbook Research in Braunschweig.
Her publications include:
Kinderstube des Kapitalismus? Monetäre Erziehung im 18. und 19.
Jahrhundert, Berlin/Boston 2018.
Ökonomien. Special Issue L’Homme. Europäische Zeitschrift für feministische
Geschichtswissenschaft 1, 2016 (with Margareth Lanzinger and Claudia
Useful knowledge. Monetary education of children and the moralization of
productivity in the 19th Century in: Peter-Paul Bänziger, Mischa Suter (Hg.),
Histories of Productivity. Genealogical Perspectives on the Body and Modern
Economy, London: Routledge 2017, S. 74-91.
Weiße Männer, schwarze Krieger. Zur Geschichte kolonialer Männlichkeit in
Deutschland, 1918-1964, Köln 2006.
Laura Núñez Letamendia
Associate Professor of Finance and Academic Director of the Center for
Insurance Research at IE Business School. In addition she was Director of
Research at IE for the period 2001-2007. She was awarded a Bachelor’s
degree in Economics from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and a
Doctorate in Financial Economics from the same University. She has been
invited as visiting researcher by Bentley University (Boston, USA) and the
University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) and has attended specialized
courses at Harvard Business School. Laura commenced her professional life in
the financial and insurance industry in companies such as Bestinver SVB, GVC
SVB and Norwich Union, where she developed different functions as financial
analyst, trader and portfolio manager.
About the autors
Laura’s research interests are focused on the analysis of financial and insurance
topics and the application of artificial intelligence and econometric techniques
to them (saving, investment, risk management, etc.). Her work has been
published in influential international academic journals under peer review.
Joan Pagés-Blanch
Emeritus Professor of Didactics of the Social Sciences at the Universitat
Autònoma de Barcelona. His research focuses on the teaching and learning
of history, social sciences and education for citizenship and the training of
teachers in these disciplines. He has published more than three hundred
works and has directed more than thirty doctoral theses.
María Antonieta Paz
Has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of North Texas
in the United States and graduate studies in Business Administration from the
same university, as well as in the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
(ITAM). Her labor experience comprises 10 years in the private sector and 17
in the public sector of Mexico. Her private sector experience has been focused
on international commerce while living in the United States. The public sector
experience has been in the financial sector. The first 14 years were at the
Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit where her last position was Director
on Legal Financial Regulation. The following and last 3 years have been in
Bansefi (Banco del Ahorro Nacional y Servicios Financieros), the Mexican
Development Bank responsible for fostering financial inclusion, where she has
worked as an adviser on financial inclusion issues and special projects.
Antoni Santisteban-Fernández
Professor of Social Sciences Education at the Universitat Autònoma de
Barcelona. He has been Principal Investigator of several projects on history
and citizenship education. His research focuses are on the teaching of
historical thinking and Historical Consciousness, controversial issues in the
teaching of social studies, global citizenship education, the critical literacy and
the democratic participation. He has been President of AUPDCS (University
Association of Social Sciences Education). He coordinates the Group of Social
Sciences Education Research (GREDICS) of the UAB. He is Vice-Dean of Quality
and Innovation at the Faculty of Education of the Universitat Autònoma de
About the autors
Ana Cristina Silva
Associate Professor of Finance and Founding Director of the Financial Capability
Center at Merrimack College, North Andover (Massachusetts, US). She is
also Research Affiliate at the Center for Insurance Research at IE University
(Madrid, Spain). She has received numerous recognitions for the contribution
of her Center to the community, including the 2016 Outstanding Financial
Counselling and Planning Award by the Association for Financial Counselling
and Planning Education (AFCPE) in the US.
Has a Ph.D. in Financial Economics by the University of Houston (Texas, U.S.)
and an MBA by Madrid Business School- U. of Houston. She is Bachelor in
Biological Sciences by Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain).
Her areas of interest are Financial Capability and Financial Inclusion. She has
numerous publications in referee international journals such as the Journal of
Banking and Finance, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Venture Capital,
and Emerging Markets Review, among others.
Janette Rutterford
Professor of Financial Management and Research Professor of the True Potential
Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance at the Open University Business
School. Prior to joining the OU, Janette worked at Credit Lyonnais as a gilts
analyst, taught finance at the London School of Economics, and worked in
corporate finance at N.M.Rothschild & Sons Limited. Janette’s research has
centred on corporate finance, investment management, and the history of
finance, investment and saving. She has written a number of texts, notably
Corporate Finance & Capital Markets, Financial Strategy, and three editions
of An Introduction to Stock Exchange Investment. Janette’s academic papers
are in the field of performance measurement, equity valuation, pension
funds, women and investment, and the history of investment and saving.
She was involved in a major ESRC research grant which investigated women’s
wealth and investment from 1870 to 1930 completed in 2009. Her paper on
the history of equity valuation in 2004 was awarded the Basil Yamey prize for the
best published paper in Accounting, Business and Financial History in that
year. She was co-editor with Professor Josephine Maltby of York University and
Professor Anne Laurence of the Open University of a 2009 edited text: Women
and their Money, 1700 to 1950 and, with David Green, Josephine Maltby,
and Alastair Owens, of a 2011 OUP edited text: Men, Women and Money:
About the autors
Perspectives on Gender, Wealth and Investment 1850-1930. Janette’s current
research is on corporate governance issues, behavioural finance, portfolio
diversification, the democratisation of investment, and saving.
Financial History Workshop
Savings Culture
A Lifetime of
Financial Education
Madrid, 5th October 2017
Financial History Workshop Improving Savings Culture. A Lifetime of Financial Education
FUNCAS Social and Economic Studies, 4
Financial History Workshop is designed to provide a forum for extensive
discussion on new and innovative research on a very important and
current topic for savings and retail banks in Europe and worldwide:
nancial literacy. This book compiles some of the research works that,
due to their informative nature, were exhibited in it.
C/ Caballero de Gracia, 28
Madrid, 28013, Spain
Tel. +34 91 5965481 +34 91 5965718
Electronic version available at: ISBN 978-84-15722-83-0
portada.indd 1 15/03/2018 09:57:59
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
Empirical studies of the link between finance and inequality document that across countries financial development is associated with lower and decreasing income inequality. This article uses an indicator of economic literacy as a proxy for the ability to reap the benefits of financial investment opportunities, and documents that such specific competences matter for the relationship between changes in inequality and financial development. As financial markets become more sophisticated, the ability to take advantage of new investment opportunities may help reduce inequality, and the empirical association between financial development and lower income inequality indeed appears to be driven by economic literacy.
Full-text available
The relevance of financial literacy to social work has been framed almost exclusively in the context of poverty relief, but this study expands this framework to the evidence linking financial stress, not merely poverty, to adverse client outcomes. Using a new 15-item, quantitative instrument, student (N= 1,506) perceptions were collected. Respondents demonstrated a moderate awareness of the relevance of financial literacy in 11 of 15 problem issues commonly encountered in practice, indicating a moderate receptivity to financial education. Future research should clarify the contours of financial knowledge that is required to assist clients.
Using a panel fixed effects model for a sample of 121 countries covering 1975-2005, we examine how financial development, financial liberalization and banking crises are related to income inequality. In contrast with most previous work, our results suggest that all finance variables increase income inequality. The level of financial development conditions the impact of financial liberalization on inequality. Also the quality of political institutions conditions the impact of financial liberalization on income inequality, in contrast to the quality of economic institutions. Our main findings are robust for using random effects, cross-country regressions and legal origin as instrument for financial development.
This paper reviews what we have learned over the past decade about financial literacy and its relationship to financial decision-making around the world. Using three questions, we have surveyed people in several countries to determine whether they have the fundamental knowledge of economics and finance needed to function as effective decision-makers. We find that levels of financial literacy are low not only in the United States. but also in many other countries including those with well-developed financial markets. Moreover, financial illiteracy is particularly acute for some demographic groups, especially women and the less-educated. These findings are important since financial literacy is linked to borrowing, saving, and spending patterns. We also offer new evidence on financial literacy among high school students drawing on the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment implemented in 18 countries. Last, we discuss the implications of this research for policy.
This paper comments on the conceptualisation of financial literacy by investigating how it is defined, problematised, and operationalised as a part of the efforts to overcome its perceived impediments. The backdrop of this study is the idea that the financial literacy movement goes hand in hand with the financialisation of society. By reporting from a study of financial literacy practices, the aim is to disentangle the notion of financial literacy from the assumption that it is a singular capability that, when gained, will automatically affect people's financial practices. The paper draws on a recent development in literacy research, New Literacy Studies, and on its division into autonomous and ideological definitions of literacy. The empirical illustrations originate from the efforts made to decrease financial illiteracy among Swedish adolescents and the demand for financial literacy in audit committees. Contrary to earlier studies, this paper demonstrates that financial literacy does not merely refer to a character trait that researchers may find lacking among the marginalised actors in society. Financial literacy cannot merely be viewed as the ability to read and write in the language of finance and accounting. Instead, financial literacy is a concept that needs to be situated and studied in practice because the characteristics that constitute financial literacy, or those that apply to it, vary with time and place.
In the current financial crisis, children and youth are uniquely impacted by household finance complexities. Moments of financial trouble are teachable opportunities for children and youth to learn about personal finance and to improve their own money management skills. However, comprehensive strategies for educating them about personal finance have not yet emerged. This review of the literature explores the state of youth financial education and policy, including definitions and measures of effectiveness. Delineating a range of approaches to the delivery and assessment of youth financial education, this paper reports on impact data and best practices and highlights some controversies. It concludes with a discussion of the gaps in knowledge and suggestions for further research.
Educational researchers in every discipline need to be cognisant of alternative research traditions to make decisions about which method to use when embarking on a research study. There are two major approaches to research that can be used in the study of the social and the individual world. These are quantitative and qualitative research. Although there are books on research methods that discuss the differences between alternative approaches, it is rare to find an article that examines the design issues at the intersection of the quantitative and qualitative divide based on eminent research literature. The purpose of this article is to explain the major differences between the two research paradigms by comparing them in terms of their epistemological, theoretical, and methodological underpinnings. Since quantitative research has well-established strategies and methods but qualitative research is still growing and becoming more differentiated in methodological approaches, greater consideration will be given to the latter.
We present an intertemporal consumption model of consumer investment in financial literacy. Consumers benefit from such investment because their stock of financial literacy allows them to increase the returns on their wealth. Since literacy depreciates over time and has a cost in terms of current consumption, the model determines an optimal investment in literacy. The model shows that financial literacy and wealth are determined jointly, and are positively correlated over the life cycle. Empirically, the model leads to an instrumental variables approach, in which the initial stock of financial literacy (as measured by math performance in school) is used as an instrument for the current stock of literacy. Using microeconomic and aggregate data, we find a strong effect of financial literacy on wealth accumulation and national saving, and also show that ordinary least squares estimates understate the impact of financial literacy on saving.
I. Introduction, 488. — II. The model with automobiles as an example, 489. — III. Examples and applications, 492. — IV. Counteracting institutions, 499. — V. Conclusion, 500.
Financial literacy around the world: an overview Financial literacy around the world: an overview
  • A Lusardi
  • O S Mitchell
lusardI, a., and o. s. MItchell (2011a), Financial literacy and planning: implications for retirement wellbeing, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Mass. -(2011b), "Financial literacy around the world: an overview Financial literacy around the world: an overview," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, 10: 497-508, doi:10.1017/ lusardI, a.; MItchell, o. s., and v. curto (2010), "Financial Literacy among the Young," Journal of Consumer Affairs, 44: 358-380, doi:10.1111/j.1745-6606.2010.01173.x